Dodou Sanyang, who was speaking during an interview at his office in Bansang, disclosed that this figure has put them to about 48% of the target, as their goal is to vaccinate about 31,500 people.
“One thing about the Ministry of Health is that we already have structures at community level that we can use, especially when we are to come up with campaigns like this,” he said.
To this end, Sanyang also said they were able to use their structures at the community level such as Village Support Groups, traditional communicators and health teams as well as radios to amplify their message regarding Covid-19.
“We also have a health education promotion officer, who was also able to go to the radio likewise our health facilities to talk to the people especially women of child-bearing age, who come to the facilities prior to the campaign so that they help spread information about the exercise at the community level,” he said.
He reiterated the safety and effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines, saying as citizens of this country “if these vaccines” are not safe, no one would allow it into the country.
“These vaccines have been tested several times and it has been proven to be safe and effective,” he assured. “This is why it was accepted to be brought into the country. At the international level this was done and at the national level at least there were documents to show why it was accepted.”
Sanyang also spoke about some strategies they’ve put in place to increase their vaccination coverage at the regional level, which includes visiting schools, and which “has helped increase the turnout”.
“In some communities, we’ve also asked our vaccinators to go house-to-house,” he explained. “Previously, we assembled at one point and people come to get vaccinated and sometimes the turnout with that one may not be enough.
“But using the house-to-house campaign and visiting the schools has also helped a great deal.”
He said that sometimes using people who are from the areas the exercises are conducted also pays dividend, adding that they also engage some of the youth to amplify key messages prior to the exercise.
“So we also use some of these people to talk to their communities before sending in teams to the particular areas and that also helps increase the turnout,” he stated.
However, he highlighted some of the challenges they grapple with, saying they include untimely or late arrival of resources, especially with regard to logistics, and shortage of fuel.